The Cleveland Guardians are receiving plenty of bang for their buck with their rookie starters
The Guardians will look for their third straight strong start from a first-year pitcher on Wednesday night when they play the third contest of their four-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays
Gavin Williams struck out 12 in seven scoreless innings in Cleveland's 3-1 setback to Toronto in the series opener on Monday
Tanner Bibee followed the next night by fanning six over the same stretch as the Guardians recorded their major-league-high-tying 12th shutout of the season with a 1-0 victory. Cleveland snapped a three-game skid with just its second win in its last eight contests
"That's a couple nights in a row now," Guardians manager Terry Francona said. "I think they're understanding their stuff will play.
"Give credit to that young cat right there," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said of Bibee. "We had a chance in the third (inning) there with George (Springer) and (Daulton Varsho). He made big pitches there, a right-on-right changeup to George and a back-foot slider to Varsh. That's the difference.
Toronto struggled to string hits together and saw its four-game winning streak end
Cleveland left-hander Logan Allen (5-4, 3.65 ERA) will look to follow the performances of his fellow rookies on Wednesday when he squares off against Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman (8-6, 3.20)
Allen, 24, overcame a pair of starts in which he allowed two homers and five runs in both by tossing six strong innings in a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. He worked around four walks and permitted two runs on four hits
"I was able to make adjustments and keep a few tricks up my sleeve," Allen said
He has yet to face Toronto in his young career
Allen would be wise to tread carefully on Whit Merrifield, who recorded three hits on Tuesday. Merrifield is 7-for-22 with one homer and two RBIs and two runs in his last five games
Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a pair of hits on Tuesday and Matt Chapman added a two-out single in the ninth inning. He has a hit in four of his last five games
Gausman, 32, fell to 1-3 in his last six outings after yielding three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of a 6-1 setback to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday
He is 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA in seven career encounters (six starts) against Cleveland
Gausman should keep tabs on Ramon Laureano, who made the most of his first impression with Cleveland after being acquired off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Monday. Laureano ripped an RBI double down the left-field line in the second inning on Tuesday
"I think it's a blessing," Laureano said, per Cleveland.com. "It was a favor from (Oakland). I think it's time to move on and finally I'm here. I'm very excited about it.
--Field Level Medi